2002 Commonwealth Games

Last updated

XVII Commonwealth Games
2002 Commonwealth Games logo.svg
Host city Manchester, England
MottoThe Spirit of Friendship [1]
Nations participating72 [2]
Athletes participating3,863
Events281 in 17 sports
Opening ceremony25 July
Closing ceremony4 August
Officially opened by Elizabeth II
Officially closed by Elizabeth II
Athlete's Oath James Hickman
Queen's Baton Final Runner David Beckham and
Kirsty Howard
Main venue City of Manchester Stadium

The 2002 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XVII Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Manchester 2002 were held in Manchester, England, from 25 July to 4 August 2002. The 2002 Games were to be hosted in the United Kingdom to coincide with the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II, head of the Commonwealth, and Manchester was selected for the 2002 Games ahead of London. [3] The 2002 Commonwealth Games was, prior to the 2012 Summer Olympics, the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in the UK, eclipsing the London 1948 Summer Olympics in numbers of teams and athletes participating. [4] [5] In terms of sports and events, the 2002 Games were the largest Commonwealth Games in history featuring 281 events across 17 sports.


The Games were considered a success for the host city, providing an event to display how Manchester had changed following the 1996 bombing. [6] The Games formed the catalyst for the widespread regeneration and heavy development of Manchester, and bolstered its reputation as a European and global city internationally. Rapid economic development and continued urban regeneration of the now post-industrial Manchester continued after the Games which helped cement its place as one of the principal cultural cities in the United Kingdom. [7]

The opening and closing ceremonies, the athletic and the rugby sevens events were held at the City of Manchester Stadium, which was purpose built for the Games. Unusually for a large multi-sport event—the second-largest competition by number of countries and athletes participating—the shooting events were held in the National Shooting Centre in Bisley, Surrey, some 200 miles (322 km) from the main focus of the Games in Manchester. Seventy-two nations competed in 14 individual sports and 3 team sports events.

Sporting legacy includes the British Cycling team who inherited the Manchester Velodrome and went on to win eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics and another eight gold medals at the 2012 Olympics, partly attributed to the availability of the velodrome. Manchester City F.C. inherited the City of Manchester Stadium and, as a result, have since found themselves in a desirable investment opportunity in the age of foreign football investment. The club was taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group led by Sheikh Mansour in 2008, a takeover that would have been far less certain without the stadium. [8] [9] The Games were a formative moment for Manchester and Britain with then-IOC president Jacques Rogge viewing the games as an important litmus test as to whether Britain could host the Summer Olympics. [10] [11] The success of the Games quickly encouraged and inspired the future London bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics with London going on to win the bid on 6 July 2005 and the games were successfully staged seven years later. [12]

Host city selection

Manchester was selected by the Commonwealth Games Council of England as the official bid city from England for the 2002 Commonwealth Games Manchester Sky.jpg
Manchester was selected by the Commonwealth Games Council of England as the official bid city from England for the 2002 Commonwealth Games

While England decided to bid for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, three English cities London, Manchester and Sheffield showed interest to host the Games. The Commonwealth Games Council of England (CGCE) had to choose one city and forward to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). London hosted the 1934 Commonwealth Games as well as the 1908 and 1948 Summer Olympics and Sheffield hosted the 1991 Summer Universiade. Manchester had bid for the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics but lost to Atlanta and Sydney respectively. Bob Scott, chairman of the committee of Manchester Bid for the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics, supported the Manchester's Commonwealth Games bid and said that Manchester must continue to 'think big' and bidding for the Commonwealth Games would be an excellent step forward. [13] Later, Sheffield withdrew from the bidding process as they were unable to come to agreement over financial guarantees. [14] So the 24 members of the CGCE were left to choose between Manchester and London, and voted 17-7 for Manchester. [3] In November 1995, the CGF awarded the 2002 Games to Manchester. [15]

2002 Commonwealth Games bidding results
Manchester Flag of England.svg  England Unanimous

Preparation and development


The City of Manchester Stadium hosted Athletics and Rugby Sevens events Manchester-city-fc-stadium.jpg
The City of Manchester Stadium hosted Athletics and Rugby Sevens events
Manchester Aquatics Centre hosted Diving and Swimming events Entrance to Manchester Aquatics Centre.jpg
Manchester Aquatics Centre hosted Diving and Swimming events
The Manchester Arena hosted the boxing and netball events MEN Arena, Manchester - panoramio.jpg
The Manchester Arena hosted the boxing and netball events
Manchester Velodrome hosted the track cycling programme Manchester Velodrome.jpg
Manchester Velodrome hosted the track cycling programme

The venues were eclectic ranging from high-tech architecture in the City of Manchester Stadium to the 19th-century Grade II* listed Manchester Central hall. The Games' main venue was the City of Manchester Stadium (now Etihad Stadium), which hosted all athletics events, the rugby sevens and the opening and closing ceremonies. The stadium was a downscaled version of that proposed during Manchester's bid for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Construction started in January 2000, [16] and was completed shortly before the Games. The cost was approximately £110 million, £77 million of which was provided by Sport England, with the remainder funded by Manchester City Council. [17] For the Commonwealth Games the stadium featured a single lower tier running around three sides of the athletics track, and second tiers to the two sides, with an open-air temporary stand at one end, giving an overall capacity of 41,000. [18] The stadium formed the centrepiece of an area known as Sportcity . Other venues in Sportcity include the Manchester Velodrome, which hosted cycling, and the £3.5m National Squash Centre, which was built specifically for the Games. [19]

Swimming and diving events took place at Manchester Aquatics Centre, another purpose-built venue, and the only one in the United Kingdom with two 50 m pools. [20]

The Manchester Arena built in 1994, at the time was the largest arena in Europe and hosted netball and boxing. [21]

The shooting events were held at the National Shooting Centre, Bisley (located in Surrey). The NSC saw major redevelopment of all its ranges in order to host the fullbore rifle, smallbore rifle, pistol and clay target events.

The Games Village is located on 30 acres of land, which operates as the Fallowfield Campus within the University of Manchester during the games. [22]

Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay

The Queen's Baton Relay passes through Wolverhampton before the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester Bilston St.-Garrick St. - geograph.org.uk - 536739.jpg
The Queen's Baton Relay passes through Wolverhampton before the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester

The 2002 Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay, the continuation of a tradition that started with the 1958 Games, consisted of the relay of an electronic baton, containing a personal message from Elizabeth II across 23 Commonwealth nations. The relay culminated in the arrival of the baton at the City of Manchester Stadium, opening the Games. The speech was then removed electronically from the baton, and read by Her Majesty to open the Games. [23]

The 2002 Baton itself was designed by a company called IDEO, and was constructed of machined aluminium with the handle plated for conductivity. It weighed 1.69 kg, reached over 710 mm, and was 42.5 mm to 85 mm in diameter. The Queen's message itself was held in an aluminium capsule inserted into the top of the Baton. On either side of the Baton were two sterling silver coins, designed by Mappin and Webb, which celebrated the City of Manchester as host of the XVII Commonwealth Games.

The Baton was also equipped with sensors that detected and monitored the Runner's pulse rate. This information was then conveyed to a series of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), via a light behaviour module. The lens then transformed the LEDs into a shaft of bright blue pulsating light which synchronised with each new Runner. The hearts of the Runner and the Baton then beat as one until it was passed on, symbolising the journey of humanity and the essence of life.

The Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay passed through over 500 cities, towns and villages across the UK and the Baton was carried by 5,000 individuals, with each Runner carrying the Baton up to 500 yards, however on Saturday 15 June, the baton was snatched from a runners hand in the town of Connah's Quay, Deeside in north Wales.

The UK Baton Runners were made up of people from all walks of life including athletes, celebrities and local heroes from all over the country. Around 2500 Jubilee Runners were nominated by the community to carry the Baton, because they made a special contribution to their community or achieved a personal goal against the odds.

The judging of the Jubilee Runners was conducted by a panel of judges under the supervision of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award in January 2002. The relay was sponsored by Cadbury Schweppes, a major UK confectionery and soft drinks manufacturer.


The cost of hosting the 2002 Commonwealth Games was estimated at approximately £300 million. [24] Prior to the games, a £100 million was required to fill a financial black hole and the government agreed to provide the funding required, [25] despite some believing that £300 million was too much. [26]

Cultureshock and Festival Live

Cultureshock was the Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme which ran alongside the Games themselves. The events ranged from images of the athlete as hero in sculpture and photography (Go! Freeze, which ran at Turton Tower in Bolton) to a Zulu performance at The Lowry. There was an exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery called Tales of Power: West African Textiles, and a performance of the film Monsoon Wedding at Clwyd Theatr Cymru. The geographical range was from Cheshire in the south to Blackburn and Cumbria in the north, and included that year the various Melas that take place around the region.

Cultureshock also ensured that a wide range of cultural events and acts reached the "man on the street", with the city centre of Manchester filled with bands, performers, and artists of various forms entertaining the thousands of visitors to the Games. It also coincided with the BBC's 2002 Festival Live series of open-air concerts and celebrations around the country, held to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee. Many of the cultural events were covered by the BBC 2002 radio station covering the games.

Opening ceremony

The Project & Artistic Director for the Opening Ceremony was David Zolkwer. Five-time Olympic champion Sir Steve Redgrave opened the two-and-a-quarter-hour opening ceremony by banging a large drum, which initiated a co-ordinated dance and fireworks act. The champion rower was joined on the stage by sporting stars including yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur, heptathlete Denise Lewis, long-distance runner Moses Kiptanui, swimmer Susie O'Neill and sprinter Donovan Bailey. The Grenadier Guards shared the arena with pop band S Club and Salford-born opera singer Russell Watson sang the Games' theme, "Faith of the Heart", while the arrival of HM The Queen was greeted with a flypast by the Red Arrows. England football captain David Beckham helped chaperone Queen's Baton final runner Kirsty Howard, assisting the terminally ill six-year-old to hand the baton to The Queen. A 4,000-strong cast took part in the £12 million spectacular, which in theme and tone consisted of a mix of "pomp and pop", combining the ceremonial aspects of the Games with a party-style atmosphere, based on Manchester's reputation as the party city of "Madchester". [27] The ceremony was voiced by broadcaster Anthony Davis.

The traditional athletes' parade was led by previous hosts Malaysia, and England brought up the rear before The Queen as the Head of the Commonwealth, declared the Games open:

"All of us participating in this ceremony tonight, whether athletes or spectators, or those watching on television around the world, can share in the ideals of this unique association of nations,"

"We can all draw inspiration from what the Commonwealth stands for, our diversity as a source of strength, our tradition of tolerance ... our focus on young people, for they are our future."

"It is my pleasure in this my Golden Jubilee Year to declare the 17th Commonwealth Games open." [28]

Closing ceremony

The Project & Artistic Director for the Closing Ceremony was David Zolkwer. The Queen ended 11 days of competition at a rain-drenched closing ceremony in the City of Manchester Stadium. She declared the Games closed in front of a 38,000 sell-out crowd gathered in the stadium. She also called on the athletes to assemble again in four years in Melbourne and to continue displaying the "friendship" they had shown in Manchester. The ceremony, attended by Prime Minister Tony Blair and several other dignitaries, took place in pouring rain and like the opening ceremony, mixed "pomp with pop". Australian Ian Thorpe, the star of the Games with his six swimming golds, carried his national flag into the arena, along with athletes from each of the other competing countries. Around 40,000 balloons were released into the rainy Manchester sky as the ceremony concluded with a spectacular fireworks display.

Closing ceremony highlights included: [29]

Participating teams

There were 72 participating countries, territories and Commonwealth regions at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. The 2002 event marked the last time Zimbabwe has participated to date; Zimbabwe formally withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations the following year. [31]

Nations competed at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester Commonwealth games 2002 countries map.PNG
Nations competed at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester
Participating Commonwealth Countries & Territories


OCOpening ceremonyEvent competitions1Gold medal eventsCCClosing ceremony
Athletics pictogram.svg Athletics 2512971348
Badminton pictogram.svg Badminton 156
Boxing pictogram.svg Boxing 1212
Cycling pictogram.svg Cycling 2221233217
Diving pictogram.svg Diving 2226
Gymnastics (artistic) pictogram.svg Gymnastics 1121014
Hockey pictogram.svg Hockey 112
Judo pictogram.svg Judo 45514
Lawn bowls pictogram.svg Lawn bowls 111148
Netball pictogram.svg Netball 11
Rugby sevens pictogram.svg Rugby sevens 11
Shooting pictogram.svg Shooting 5656364540
Squash pictogram.svg Squash 235
Swimming pictogram.svg Swimming 559511742
Synchronized swimming pictogram.svg Synchronised swimming 112
Triathlon pictogram.svg Triathlon 22
Table tennis pictogram.svg Table tennis 2248
Weightlifting pictogram.svg Weightlifting 99991046
Wrestling pictogram.svg Wrestling 437
Daily medal events26162226364033214831281
Cumulative total28244672108148181202250281
Total events


There were the maximum of 17 sports included in the schedule for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

SportVenueNumber of medal events
Aquatics Manchester Aquatics Centre 50
Athletics City of Manchester Stadium (Track and field, Marathon), Salford Quays (race walking)48
Badminton Bolton Arena 6
Boxing Wythenshawe Forum, Manchester Arena 12
Cycling Manchester Velodrome (track events), Rivington (road races)17
Gymnastics Manchester Central Convention Complex 15
Hockey Belle Vue Complex2
Judo Manchester Central Convention Complex14
Lawn bowls Heaton Park 6
Netball Manchester Arena1
Rugby Sevens City of Manchester Stadium1
Shooting Bisley Shooting Centre 40
Squash National Squash Centre 5
Table tennis Table Tennis Centre, Sportcity 8
Triathlon Salford Quays 2
Weightlifting Manchester Central Convention Complex46
Wrestling Manchester Central Convention Complex7

After experimenting with it on a smaller scale at the 1994 Commonwealth Games and dropping it at the 1998 Games, disabled competitions were held in swimming, athletics, bowls, table tennis and weightlifting (powerlifting). The medals were added to the final tally for each nation.


The City of Manchester Stadium during the Games City of Manchester Stadium 2002.jpg
The City of Manchester Stadium during the Games

Medal table

  *   Host nation (England)

1Flag of Australia.svg  Australia  (AUS)826263207
2Flag of England.svg  England  (ENG)*545160165
3Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada  (CAN)314144116
4Flag of India.svg  India  (IND)30221769
5Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand  (NZL)11132145
6Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa  (RSA)9201746
7Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon  (CMR)91212
8Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia  (MAS)791834
9Flag of Wales 2.svg  Wales  (WAL)6131231
10Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland  (SCO)681630
11Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria  (NGR)531119
12Flag of Kenya.svg  Kenya  (KEN)48416
13Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica  (JAM)46717
14Flag of Singapore.svg  Singapore  (SIN)42713
15Flag of the Bahamas.svg  Bahamas  (BAH)4048
16Flag of Nauru.svg  Nauru  (NRU)25815
17Ulster banner.svg  Northern Ireland  (NIR)2215
18Flag of Cyprus (1960-2006).svg  Cyprus  (CYP)2114
19Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan  (PAK)1348
20Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji  (FIJ)1113
Flag of Zambia.svg  Zambia  (ZAM)1113
22Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe  (ZIM)1102
23Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia  (NAM)1045
24Flag of Tanzania.svg  Tanzania  (TAN)1012
25Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh  (BAN)1001
Flag of Guyana.svg  Guyana  (GUY)1001
Flag of Mozambique.svg  Mozambique  (MOZ)1001
Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis.svg  Saint Kitts and Nevis  (SKN)1001
29Flag of Botswana.svg  Botswana  (BOT)0213
30Flag of Uganda.svg  Uganda  (UGA)0202
31Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa  (SAM)0123
32Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Trinidad and Tobago  (TRI)0101
33Flag of Barbados.svg  Barbados  (BAR)0011
Flag of the Cayman Islands.svg  Cayman Islands  (CAY)0011
Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana  (GHA)0011
Flag of Lesotho (1987-2006).svg  Lesotho  (LES)0011
Flag of Malta.svg  Malta  (MLT)0011
Flag of Mauritius.svg  Mauritius  (MRI)0011
Flag of Saint Lucia (1979-2002).svg  Saint Lucia  (LCA)0011
Totals (39 CGAs)282279334895

Legacy host city and nation

In terms of infrastructure, the Games were the catalyst for the widespread redevelopment of the east of the city, an area which had remained derelict since the departure of heavy industry some decades before. The 2002 Commonwealth Games set a new benchmark for hosting the Commonwealth Games and for cities wishing to bid for them with a heavy emphasis on legacy. [35] [36]

The venue and financial policy of the 2002 Commonwealth Games has influenced future sporting events, including the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

In comparison to other sporting events, the 2002 games were marked by financial discipline. The cost of the 2010 Commonwealth Games were estimated at $4.1 billion, [37] the London 2012 Summer Olympics are estimated to cost £9 billion, while the 2014 Commonwealth Games could cost as much as £500 million. [38]

Sporting legacy included the City of Manchester Stadium which was turned over to Manchester City Football Club, to replace the ageing Maine Road. It is possible that this provided an incentive which led to the eventual 2008 take over by the Abu Dhabi United group led by Sheikh Mansour. Consequently, they have seen a considerable upturn in their success, with a series of transfers which has increased the profile of Manchester further, as Manchester City have become title challengers. Indeed, journalists have stated Mansour would not had bought the city had the club not had the 50,000 stadium. The Manchester Velodrome was built in 1994 in preparation for an Olympic bid, but subsequently hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Since opening in 1994, it has been cited as a catalyst for Britain's successes in track cycling since 2002. [39] [40] At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the Great British cycling claimed 8 of the 18 gold medals on offer, including 14 of the 54 medals available altogether. This unprecedented achievement was partly attributed the availability of a velodrome.

Local communities benefited from facilities built for the game such as the Manchester Aquatics Centre, the Northern Regional Tennis Centre and the National Squash Centre. There were comprehensive upgrades of Belle Vue and Moss Side leisure centres serve their local communities. [41]

Olympic president Jacques Rogge said the Games had gone a long way to restoring Britain's credibility in terms of hosting big sporting events. [42] It has since been said that the success of the games was a major factor in reassuring the UK's sporting authorities and the government that the country could successfully stage major successful international sporting events and that, without them, London's successful bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics would not have come about. [43] [44] Public houses and restaurants in Manchester reported a threefold increase in takings during the Games, and local tourism board Marketing Manchester estimate some 300,000 more visitors will come to the city each year as a result of its increased profile. [29] It is estimated that by 2008 £600m has been invested in the region as a result of the Games and that about 20,000 jobs had been created. [45]


The 2002 Commonwealth Games' logo is an image of three figures standing on a podium with their arms uplifted in the jubilation of winning or in celebration, which represents the three core themes of the Games: sport, culture and friendship and the types of medalist in the games: gold, silver and bronze. The figures are captured in three colours which are red, blue and green. The red represents performance, passion and success; the blue symbolises intelligence, confidence and reliability, while the green represents loyalty, balance and generosity. The yellow background behind the figures represents the competitive, powerful and cheerful elements of the Games, while the black games' name letters representing solidarity and strength. The figures in the logo joining hands to resemble the letter 'M', which is the initial for the host city, Manchester and also a crown of the queen to represent the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II's reign as the monarch of The United Kingdom. The logo overall represents a celebration of sharing and friendship and the pride of participating in the Games, cheerful atmosphere, sportsmanship and confidence of Manchester as the games host city. [46]


The official mascot of the 2002 Commonwealth Games is a cat named Kit. The adoption of the cat as the games' mascot is to represent the young, vibrant, friendly, dynamic personality of Manchester as the games' host city. [47]


Numerous companies ranging from international to local, sponsored the 2002 Games. [48] [49] International sponsors included Microsoft and Xerox and also companies with local links to Manchester including Guardian Media Group, PZ Cussons and United Utilities.

See also

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Official sites

Other sites

Preceded by
Kuala Lumpur
Commonwealth Games
XVII Commonwealth Games
Succeeded by